Japan’s Top Mobile Developers – The Best of 2017

We look at Japan’s Top Mobile Developers according to Pocket Gamer’s recent list of the world’s Top 50 devs for 2017.

As Pocket Gamer recently posted their annual Top 50 Mobile Developers globally, we wanted to highlight whom Pocket Gamer considers as Japan’s top mobile developers. As the third largest market globally, Japan should have strong representation on Pocket Gamer’s Top 50 charts. Out of the top 50, Japan represents 12 or 24%. Considering China has 5 companies in the Top 50 and the US has 11, I’d say Japan overperformed! Granted, many of the companies on the top 50 list have branches, subsidiaries, or parent companies throughout the world due to the many M&As over the years. So to only look at where the companies are headquartered is not quite fair. Still, it’s a fun exercise and regardless of how you look at it, Japan did quite well in this year’s list.


Below are the Japanese companies in the top 50 list.


Japan’s Top Mobile Developers


42. Gree (グリー)

39. Bandai Namco (バンダイナムコ)

34. DeNA (ディー・エヌ・エー)

33. Konami (コナミ)

25. Nexon (ネクソン)

24. copopl (コロプラ)

21. Cyber Agent (サイバーエージェント)

17. Square Enix(スクウェア・エニックス)

13. Sony (ソニー)

11. Nintendo (ニンテンドー)

10. GungHo(ガンホー)

9. Mixi (ミクシィ)


It’s interesting to note that some of these have tried to go abroad and have since retreated back to Japan. Mixi, for example, shut down Monster Strike in the US this year but still comes in as Pocket Gamer’s top Japanese dev. Gree at #42 recently shut down all of its Western studios (including Australia). Nintendo is interesting as a mobile developer–it partnered with DeNA for Fire Emblem and licensed its characters for Magikarp Jump and Niantic’s Pokemon Go. Really, its only major title was Super Mario Run. Bandai Namco, with its smart use of in-app events for a couple titles (namely Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle), had a great year in Japan, the US, and globally.

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